Holiday activities in Oxgangs, Currie and Colinton libraries

Looking for family summer holiday activities? Would you like to try out some traditional games? Learn how to use a diabolo, whip and peerie and more.

There will be free drop-in games activities taking place on:

  • 12 July 2.30-3.30pm at Oxgangs Library
  • 18 July 1-2pm at Currie Library
  • 18 July 3-4pm at Colinton Library


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F is for Fishing: Spotlight Tour- 14 July

In July there will be a series of Curator’s Spotlight Tours of Edinburgh Alphabet. I will be leading a short tour on 14 July at 11am. ‘Bow-tows: The Fisherfolk of Newhaven’ will explore the unique heritage of the village of Newhaven. The talk will last approximately 15 minutes and is free. Just drop in to the City Art Centre and meet at reception.


Fishing boats in Newhaven Harbour

I will look at some of the Newhaven material on display in Edinburgh Alphabet including art, photography and social history collections and  this gorgeous gala costume.


Edinburgh Alphabet

The fishwives of Newhaven were known for their brightly coloured costumes. When working, they would often wear a floral patterned shor’goon (blouse), a navy skirt, striped apron and a pooch (pocket) and often a shawl and coat. The last working Newhaven fishwife, Esther Liston, retired in 1976 aged 80


Fishwives at Newhaven Harbour (this pre-dates the building of the fishmarket)

Colourful gala costumes (such as the one on the mannequin) were worn by members of the choirs and on gala days, Sundays and for special occasions. Although the Newhaven fishwives are no longer a familiar sight, gala costume is still worn in the village on special occasions, such as the gala, today.


Newhaven Fisherwomen’s Choir on a trip to Norway

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Art in the City visit to Edinburgh Alphabet- 13 July

Art in the City will visit the Edinburgh Alphabet exhibition at the City Art Centre on 13 July.

Art in the City is a FREE programme of activities for people affected by dementia and their friends, family or carers. Art in the City provides an opportunity to share a visit to an art gallery or museum and discuss art (and other things) in a friendly and supportive environment.

Do join us from 10:30 at the City Art Centre for a cup of tea or coffee and a tour of the exhibition.

Please contact or 0131 529 6365 for more information.




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New events and updates

If you haven’t visited our new exhibition Edinburgh Alphabet yet, why not join us for one of our events?

On 8 June Art in the City will visit the exhibition. Art in the City is for people affected by dementia and their friends, family or carers. Do join us from 10:30 at the City Art Centre for a cup of tea and a tour of the exhibition. Please contact me for more information: or 0131 529 6365.

DSC_2670There are also a range of Spotlight tours and Curator’s talks linked to the exhibition. I will be giving a free 15 minute talk on the heritage of Leith at 11am on 7 June, so do drop in.


I will also give a Spotlight Tour on the history of Newhaven on 14 July at 11am.


Today is the start of Volunteers’ Week, so this weekend I’m helping out at the HVOS Celebrating Heritage Volunteers Symposium. If you are one of our wonderful volunteers, you can still book a place via Eventbrite.

Since Edinburgh Alphabet opened I have returned to more traditional outreach work. It was great to be able to show ‘Scotland for Newcomers’, a group run by The Welcoming, around the exhibition yesterday.


I have also been out running reminiscence with older people’s groups and visited Caring in Craigmillar, St Joseph’s House, the Almond Mains Initiative and the Western Infirmary to carry out reminiscence activities.

I was also fortunate enough to be chosen as one of the Mentors in the Mentoring for All programme run by the Museums Association (funded in Scotland by Museums Galleries Scotland) and attended a training day in Birmingham.

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Edinburgh Alphabet- opens tomorrow

Edinburgh Alphabet opens to tomorrow (19 May) at the City Art Centre. There will be a huge range of events over the Festival of Museums weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

I wanted to share some more images of the exhibition installation. Do come and visit us!

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Behind the scenes at Edinburgh Alphabet

The installation of Edinburgh Alphabet at the City Art Centre has started. So I thought I would share some photos of the installation so far, to give you a glimpse of museum life behind the scenes! The exhibition opens next week (19 May) at the City Art Centre.

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Edinburgh Alphabet- part 2

I have been back to the Museum Collections Centre to pack more objects for the Edinburgh Alphabet exhibition (opening at the City Art Centre on 19 May). So I thought I would share some more of my favourite objects with you.

These tools and documents were donated to the museum collections in 2013. They belonged to a father and son who were both ship’s carpenters sailing from Leith. You can read about some of their travels in the documents which mention places as far away as St Vincent, Singapore, Canada and Rio de Janeiro. We also have photographs of both men which will be displayed in the exhibition,


This ship model of represents a four masted barque, a typical “clipper” ship of the mid 19th century.  Ship models were made for various reasons. This model was likely to have been made as a hobby in the early 20th century.

If you look closely you can see a Leith coat of arms on the flag on the top of the ship


I chose this lobster pot for the ‘F is for Fishing’ section. I haven’t decided if the plastic lobster is going to be included yet though!


I also had the opportunity to see some of the items other curators are including in the exhibition. I particularly like the ‘U is for Undies’ section which will show some fabulous pants!


If you would like to know more about the exhibition, there will be a series of Curator’s Talks in June and July. I will be speaking about the history of Leith on 9 June and Fishing on 14 July, do drop by.

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